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Logo  taken from Theatre ProgramJelly's Last Jam

Music by Jelly Roll Morton

Book by George C. Wolfe; Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead

Virginia Theatre, Broadway - 26 April. 1992 (569 perfs)


He wore a diamond in his tooth, denied he was black and claimed to have invented, single-handedly the genre we know as jazz. Jelly Roll Morton, jazz pioneer reinvented himself so as to conquer the vast American expanse. He was a musical genius who was prone to romanticising his past.

Born a Creole of colour in turn-of-the-century New Orleans, he came of age playing piano in the whorehouses of Storyville. At the age of 15 he was disowned by his great grandmother and took to riding the rails, hustling pool and seducing women before setting Chicago on fire in the 20s with his dazzling jazz compositions. Rejected by the New York music establishment he did destitute and disillusioned in Los Angeles in 1941. This is his story .....


Jelly Roll Morton
Chimney Man
Young Jelly
Jack the Bear
Miss Mamie
Gran Mimi
Buddy Bolden
Too-Tight Nora
Melrose Brother
Three Finger Jake

and the many characters who appeared throughout the life of Jelly Roll Morton

Musical Numbers

  1. Prologue - Chimney Man
  2. The Jam - The Hunnies & the crowd
  3. In My Day - Jelly, The Hunnies
  4. The Creole Way - Ancestors, Amede, Viola, Young Jelly
  5. The Whole World's Waiting To Hear Your Song - Jelly, Young Jelly, the street crowd
  6. Michigan Water - Miss Mamie, Buddy Bolden
  7. The Banishment - Gran Mimi, Young Jelly, Jelly
  8. Somethin' More - Jelly, Jack, The Chimney Man, the Hunnies, the Crowd
  9. That's How You Jazz - Jelly, Jack, the Dance Hall Crowd
  10. The Chicago Strut - Jelly, the Red Hot Peppers, the Chimney Man, the Hunnies, the Chicago Crowd
  11. Play the Music For Me - Anita
  12. Lovin's Is A Low Down Blues - The Hunnies
  13. Doctor Jazz - Jelly, the Crowd
  14. Good Ole New York - The Chimney Man, the Hunnies, the New York Crowd
  15. Too Late Daddy - Jelly, the Harlem Crowd
  16. That's the Way We Do Things In New York - Jelly, the Melrose Brothers
  17. Last Chance Blues - Jelly, Anita
  18. Creole Boy - Jelly
  19. We Are the Rhythms That Colour Your Song - Company


OBC - Mercury 314 510 846-2